Most of the stuff in Royale’s trunk are his things. Journals he wrote himself. Details of his adventures with and without Bessie. Magic theory and spells. Stories, history, all kinds of stuff. I love it.
There’s stuff in from other people too. A few things from Bessie. I’m not sure who the others are. They aren’t signed. Some of the non-Royale writings I like best are by whom I’ve come to think of as “Cynical Guy”. Royale is either upbeat or merely factual. This guy is not.
One thing he wrote that seems especially relevant.
‘Magic isn’t winning the lottery. There’s a Zen proverb that’s something like – before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water – it’s supposed to be about how nothing physical is important compared to the spiritual. But it works for magic too, because you still have to pay your bills. You have to do the same stuff as before you could work magic.
You’ve probably met a wizard. At the post office or the grocery store or picking up their kids from school. They have to do the same tasks you do. Can magic make the day-to-day easier? A little, maybe. Can it make you filthy stinking rich? Absolutely, if you have no soul.
If you were rich before learning magic that’s great, good for you, keep being rich. Magic, like most everything else, is easy when you’re wealthy. For the rest of us learning magic usually leads to one of two options – poverty or crime.
Why? Because magic is the world’s worst wife. It doesn’t leave room for anything else. You can’t both learn magic and accommodate the time-consuming distractions necessitated by a normal life.
Poverty is one of the most common pitfalls for aspiring wizards. Either your job is taking up all the time you should be devoting to magic or you don’t perform well at your job because you’re concentrating on magic. Playing guidance counselor for a moment here’s the career trajectory for most wizards – a string of entry-level low-paying jobs, broken up by long periods of unemployment and rare times when you hold down better-paying job that end when a blood cultist tries to slit your throat in the employee washroom.’
I thought that it was very strange that I’ve met 2, or 3 depending on how you want to keep count, professional wrestlers that know magic. Those things are both so rare that it seemed like there would never be overlap.
But after reading Cynical Guy’s statement I think it makes some sense. What he’s saying is that normal jobs with regular hours don’t work for magic people. That’s probably why I’ve also met two touring comedians that were mages. Royale was a stage performer. Bessie was an actress. Milham owns his own business. Huddie doesn’t do anything.
The only magic people I’ve met who worked in offices were doing evil shit to get ahead. I see the options as, either you come from money, you’re an asshole, or you’re probably broke.
Even though the message is that I’m fucked and will always be poor it makes me feel better. I thought I was doing something wrong. This is just how it is.